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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 16, 2010 11:00pm-12:00am EST

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a lot of it are in very small disks about two-and-a-quarter inches across. in fact, there are 100,000 of those disks in buckets. there is just one problem. they are not numbered. they are not inventoried. you can put a dozen in your pocket and walked out with them, and they were struggling when i was there that day to begin the process of keeping track of those disks. in the year 2000 the door swung open for me at the institute of applied microbiology south the moscow. this laboratory for was the scene of some of the most diabolical and bizarre research in genetic engineering carried out in the secret soviet biological weapons program which i'll talk about briefly today. ..
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how did it get this wave? this began a long research effort to roll back the clock to
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the 1980's, it matt i have covered in washington as a white house correspondent and understand how the fissile material, the pathogens, the chemicals got so widely spread and in the process of that research i got very lucky one day. i discovered the papers, from the kremlin of vitaly leonidivich katayev. mr. katayev was a professional staff member in the central committee. he passed away in 2001, but as i was doing my research i found he had left behind a large amount of documents from the time that he served on the central committee as a staff member. he was in the defense department which was responsible for the entire military industrial complex and mr. katayev was one of those fellows who lived by the power and of the lift up his pencil and his pen. he still dozens of large
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notebooks with notes every day of technical details, things that had happened in the kremlin, arms control, weapons decisions, and what is so fascinating about this archive, which will be available publicly to everybody at the hoover institution is that you get an inside view of some of the most important turning points in decisions of soviet arms control, weapons development in the last years of the cold war. i think this is really important because a lot of us who are struggling to understand this period, certainly we have read and listen to the american history, the declassified history, looked at the documents and ask yourself questions but it was always very difficult to understand what soviet leaders were thinking and saying to themselves. certainly they have produced a large amount of material that we could absorb that was intended
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for us in their speeches and in their articles but here is a chance to understand what they were saying to each other in private. so today i would like to share with you to short case studies of things i discovered in this research that we didn't know before and they both focus on mikhail gorbachev osb are coming to the 20th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall i thought it would be timely to focus on gorbachev and how we learned some very important things about his role in this period, his role is the central to my story and in my book but i also felt that i discovered things that in all the previous year's we didn't know in definitely got a new understanding of what that role was. i think it is important to remember that gorbachev's achievements in ending the cold
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war, breaking what he called the speeding locomotive of the arms race of doubling the revolution in europe to one fold peacefully , ending the confrontation of the third world, these were not his first objective is. they grew out of his own desire for radical change at home. rooted in his own experience as a peasant, son, a young witness to world war ii, a university student during kifah, a party official in the years of stagnation and most importantly they grew out of his own deep impressions about what had gone wrong. corbett job did not set out to change the world but rather to save his country and in the end he did not save the country but he may have saved the world. one part of this was gorbachev's stephen profound understanding of the burden of the military and the hydro militarization of soviet life. he accumulated this over many
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years. he didn't talk a lot about it publicly of course, he couldn't but when he became general secretary he was quickly presented with a test, so my first point is what happened in the year in 1985? what was presented to gorbachev in that very early. macclenny came to office when reagan had proposed the strategic defense initiative. the lot of people have ascribed to reagan's strategic defense initiative some kind of legendary power to have caused change in the soviet union and i am here today to address that with new evidence and i hope to cause us to rethink a little bit gorbachev and his role in this context. you know much of the american literature about this is iger sage triumphalist. books title victory, crusader, reagan's secret war. there's a whole shelf this as star wars bankrupted the soviet
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union, the strategic defense initiative won the cold war and of course the great triumphalist himself reagan said as the iowa's quote the single most important reason for the historic breakthroughs of the later years of his presidency. but i think that triumphalist school lacks an essential ingredient and that is what was happening on the other side in moscow? is he recall reagan announce fdi in march 1983, the same month he called the soviet union an evil empire and while the soviets scared up a lot of propaganda the katayev documents the records of the central committee suggest actually the one that worried about it. there were 20 meetings of the military industrial commission in the third quarter of 1983. not a single one of them was devoted to reagan's strategic defense initiative but several of them were devoted to the threat of the pershing two missiles that nato was about to
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deploy in europe. the pershing two's pride in the soviet leadership. they worry about decapitation and they spent a lot of time discussing even to the point of thinking about how they could somehow turn the moscow systems to become an interceptor to stop pershings coming from germany. by 1985 in reagan's second inaugural address the upped the ante of that speech when he said his vision of the strategic defense initiative would be to render nuclear weapons obsolete, a global shield. this got their attention in moscow, and with ten days after reagan gave that speech, the kgb sent out an alert to all agents everywhere to report as much as they could find out about the american policy on them militarization of space. of course this triggered an avalanche of intelligence all of
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which came across the tally katayev's death and he was apprised of the large amount that was cut from newspaper clippings. he also was surprised at the lack of critical analysis and said very much of it reflected the fact that the agents in the field were unable to really estimate the seriousness of the threat of and they certainly were afraid to underestimate it. so they overestimated it. tin cables that they came across katayev's desk and 30 to 40% of them he said still with the strategic defense initiative, star wars and missile defense. two months after reagan's beach and with the kgb now on full alert gorbachev came to power. at this time when gorbachev was chosen, we had a very, very poor understanding of who he really was and we know robert gates was
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deputy director of the central intelligence agency has written that he believed gorbachev was a protege of andropov and protége that we should not consider him some kind of gary hart or lee iacocca. a few months later the cia produced its first study of gorbachev, its first assessment entitled gorbachev, dated june and of course it captured some of the early mood and excitement in the streets and it also said gorbachev was stylistically different, definitely a new suit, not a brezhnev but when there be real reform? the cia least expressed some doubt. but then the director of the cia, bill casey sent this report to president reagan with a cover note and on the cover note he said gorbachev and the people around him are quote not reformers and liberalizes either in soviet, domestic or foreign
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policy. casey was wrong. at that time, the united states was also claiming repeatedly that soviet union was developing its own missile defense program, its own strategic defense initiative. paul nitzan gave a speech in july saying of the soviets, clearly they see the potential applications ford vance defensive technologies, otherwise there would not be investing so much effort in so many resources in this area. and of course we had some good propaganda of our own in a number of glossy reports which were issued by the pentagon and state department. we show the soviets have a laser reaching up to satellite. this pencil drawing appeared at least four times and pentagon and state department brochures, but this laser shooting at these guys did not exist. in fact the soviets at one time
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wanted to build such a laser but after years of trying they had failed. this is the state of our knowledge of corporate job. what really was going on? what really was happening was quite different. within three months of taking office, all the top designers and constrictors and the military space program brought to gorbachev a colossal program, the new man and they put it on his desk. the entire plan is listed in the katayev's careful handwriting in his notebooks. this plan would build a soviet star wars. it was huge with two major rompilla programs, 137 projects in scientific research and 115-- 115 in fundamental science and of course you can imagine the billions and billions of dollars they were hoping to get. what did gorbachev do? it was the old school as our
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experts thought and as our cia copresident reagan he probably would have built that. certainly brezhnev would have built that. but he didn't. he put his plan in his bottom drawer. some of it was allowed to go ahead for a while, some of it would eventually collapse but i repeat, he did not do what he thought it might do and what we were saying he was doing. so what did gorbachev to? the turn at the time to a progressive physicist of velikhov. velikhov had worked on that lazar and knew that it didn't work and had written a report in 1983 which is still classified but velikhov said there is no way reagan can succeed at the physics of the strategic defense initiative for 20 years. and he and gorbachev talked about other kinds of responses. instead of going toe-to-toe with
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the united states in building your own star wars maybe they should think about some kind of asymmetrical response, it asymmetrical being perhaps something less expensive and less grandiose than one option they came up was maybe they could just over one of the american defenses with more warheads, with more missiles. this was a serious discussion in the summer of 1985 in katayev's documents with the careful handwriting and charts refined there was talk about putting 38 warheads on every as as 18 missile which at the time had ten. of course, this ideal would have been also a way to accelerate the arms race. gorbachev at least in 1985 mentioned it to reagan at the geneva summit, their first meeting. he alluded to it by saying to break connector herring reagan's description of the plan for
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nuclear weapons obsolete, we he said will build up to smash your shield but gorbachev did not want that entry there. he did not one another arms race. he didn't want to build his own sdi and ultimately he decided not to build that but to use and one other aspect of the asymmetric response, his voice than try and talk reagan out of that which gave rise to vitaly katayev and many things happened after that. i think this short case shows us that pressures that gorbachev was under were actually much greater than we understood. we thought old school guy and they are building their own star wars and the truth was new school guy and they didn't. in the sense gorbachev's roland this period i think deserves more scrutiny for their really courageous decisions he made. this is only one of them. we know also the sanctity of the top people in the defense
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ministry and the new military doctrine and concessions on intermediate-range missiles and the new approach to europe, yes there were a lot of things going on but we have to understand that triumphalist here who just looked at the united states and reagan as the sole agent of change are missing out because gorbachev really was the one choosing the new direction. it is also quite clear that as the i did not bankrupt the soviet union. the soviet union bankrupted itself and if anything reagan's vision might have frightened and puzzled them and we can talk some more about that but now i would like to give you my second case because it also applies to gorbachev and it also opens a window on the difficulties of this period and raises questions i think on the other side of the ledger and that is the soviet biological weapons program. as the report in the book, that the soviet union had an illicit
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hand huge program for germ warfare, brezhnev started it right after or maybe even slightly before the soviet union signed a biological weapons convention. it was in full swing in gorbachev posse years. it involves using genetic engineering to develop pathogens the world had never known before and which would be unstoppable. involved pathogens that killed people, animals and plants. it was not just laboratory research. it was also factories to create tons of anthrax. so the question is, where does this fit into our understanding of mikhail gorbachev and glasnost. i found a lot of evidence that's true that period he was general secretary there were high-level decisions taken in the kremlin and the politburo or at least central committee about biological weapons. i'm going to summarize some of
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them but you can find a lot of details in the book. as early as 1986 there are two or three people that say gorbachev signed a five-year plan for biological weapons. february 1986, the month after gorbachev proposes to eliminate all nuclear weapons. i've not seen this document but i've heard of that and certainly in november of 1986 and october of 1987 there are more committee resolutions about biological weapons facilities, and fortunately for us, mr. katayev kept track of some of these states in the titles of the resolutions where we can begin to see the pattern that this was an issue grabbing high-level attention in one of the reasons was that foreign mr. scheven dotsy who shared gorbachev's impulses for openness and perestroika and new thinking, he gone to the conference in geneva and in a speech to announce the soviet union would henceforth in a display of openness, agreed to
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mandatory challenge inspections without right of refusal for any chemical weapons facility. anti-did this at that time chemical weapons convention was being negotiated and it was hailed as definitely have an advance verification. this was something the soviet union had not prevented before but after the speech people in moscow began to get very worried especially the people in the biological weapons program because they realized the announcement had just opened the door for possible inspections of their own facilities. they certainly could not bar the door to the inspectors and say no don't come in here, that is biological weapons. woops, we are not supposed to have any biological weapons. by 1989 in july, all the top leaders of the biological weapons commission gathered in the office of si cough. icuf with the politburo member in charge of the
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military-industrial complex and at this meeting was shep medoski as well as the head of the military, the kgb, the biological weapons directors and they were there to come up with the new resolution to think about how they could come up some kind of showcase, dare i say laboratory they can shell inspectors in case any foreign inspectors showed up asking about germ warfare. and they did this and by october there resolution was passed by the central committee proposing to get some ready for foreigner inspectors but it also said to preserve the achieved parity in the field of military biology. of course there was no parity because the united states had actually abandon biological weapons in 1969 although many soviet scientists think we didn't and said they worked on germ warfare out of the feeling that maybe we had hidden our program. these worries that more intense
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in 1989 when a defector took to the british the whole story, laid it all out for them lock, stock and barrel, but by 1989 gorbachev's power was beginning to wane. if you recall, president h.w. bush met with gorbachev in december, a few months after the defector at malta on ships. wet that summit there was no mention of biological weapons at all and one of the reasons was of course bush was afraid to bring it up. it would blow up everything else he was working on, the unification of germany within nato, strategic arms control and gorbachev did not want to bring it up because of the new about the defector. he also realized talk of a biological weapons program on his watch would cause them to ask questions about new thinking on glass noss so there was a little bit of a conspiracy of silence but the soviet nation worry terribly about how it they
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were asked questions and this continued to envelop gorbachev and bring in his top advisers including four in mr. schevenoski. we will propose to exchange experts. on may 14th, 1990, the american and british ambassadors make a formal day march to the kremlin to anatoly it was gorbachev's national security advisor brent into the foreign minister of laying out the whole story, what we think you are doing. it is quite specific indictment in secret and they also told the soviet leadership we would not make it public. we have all these seven things going on. that got their attention in the very next day he wrote a letter to gorbachev about biological weapons. is the first piece of paper we
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see that shows gorbachev's knowledge and understanding of this and that broad a photocopy of this of you can see it. and the letter is eikhoff hand wrote letter because i think he did kind of weapons he was talking about. it was that sensitive. this letter is in the files and helps us see that of course in the soviet system, not only that they lied to the world about biological weapons and not only have they lied to their own people into each other, they also like to the president and this letter is not an honest accounting of the whole soviet biological weapons program. it is actually a little bit of a coverup within a cover-up but there is. gorbachev it's the latter. a few days later secretary of state baker is in moscow. he raises it again with schevenoski. schevenoski thinks it could be so but he would check it out and in the summer, there is a
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summit. gorbachev comes to washington at camp david with president bush. begin discuss biological weapons sequelae and again. gorbachev talks about an exchange of visits and in july schevenoski khalsa stack together and says right now we have to respond other going to ask us about this again. baker presents more paperwork. none of us knew anything about this. it was all done in secret. fortunately katayev was taking notes all of these discussions and he preserved a lot of the papers and finally secretary baker and foreign minister schevenoski matt in august 1990, and i have schevenoski's talking points which katayev faultily preserve dennis files and schevenoski took out his talking points and said, we have no biological weapons. he proposed a confidence measure
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an exchange of visits, and this kind of cover-up which no gorbachev and schevenoski were part of continued through 1990 in exchange of visits was worked out. the exchange happened and the american and british experts who went on the first trip to moscow came home more suspicious than ever that there was a biological weapons program. so, this kind of back-and-forth went on all the way through 1991 and it raises an important question. in all of mikhail gorbachev's struggle for disarmament in his determination to push back the military and its powerful designers and his willingness to abandon the doctrine of true blocks and his rhetoric about a world free of nuclear destruction in danger there was this one on explain gap. the biological weapons drive was going at full speed at the same moment that gorbachev reached the apex of his cooperation with
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reagan. gorbachev aboard nuclear weapons and declared his intention to eliminate chemical weapons. did he also feared the pathogens? you know i think there are several specular advances. my own efforts to ask gorbachev who met with absification anti-change the subject. i find it persuasive that he would have known about resolutions in the central committee from 1986 until 1991. but, schevenoski insisted gorbachev wanted to end the biological weapons program. the military misled him and promised to shut down and didn't. we have yet to see proof of that. that is one explanation. another is corp. richhouse was told and schevenoski was told by the kgb the same guys who were doing newspaper clippings that they were told america still had biological weapons program and it was hidden. of course we had abandoned hours
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but it gorbachev knew of the program, what did he and could he have done about it? one explanation is that the program was so deeply entrenched , so firmly stuck in that system the gorbachev decided it would be impossible to change it. he had such insight into nuclear priesthood as he called it at the time of chernobyl, he was angry at how they handle the chernobyl reactor. perhaps to sell the biological weapons program as the same. it is also possible in the latter part of his term having accumulated so much global effort occupation for glass noss at paris strike it that gorbachev decided he couldn't popson-- possibly go public. it would have such a negative impact. and, lastly, one argument that
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has been suggested by some soviet officials as garbus jahf saw biological weapons is some sort of secret reserve of strength, some military program that would give the soviet union and edge after the weapons had been negotiated. item by that last argument. i don't think gorbachev sought biological weapons as a secret military asset, but i hear this. as i close i would like to tell you for all his accomplishments the new information in this book, that we have learned about gorbachev a deepens our understanding of the pressures on him and deepens the puzzle of why, given his dedication to glasnot there was an enormous effort, he didn't do in more to stop dangerous biological weapons program. so i would like to close here. i hope you enjoy reading this book. i hope that you find it to new insights and new data to judge of the cold war came to an end
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and i apologize because in this whole toka have yet to tell you what the dead hand is and on that i hope he will ask me some questions. [applause] >> we have time for questions. i asked people to try to be direct and concise in their comments and questions. i will go first down here and then we will go up. come back down here. >> my name is jerry. i was an intelligence analyst during this period and i would like to say everything you say is supported by evidence in the intelligence community at that time. a great deal of evidence showed the soviet union was an economic crisis going back to the late '70s and realize they could not win the arms race and it is buried information. we were just a minority voice of that was just an intelligent judgment that went to majority. but my question to you is on the biological aspect which there
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was evidence for as well, is that maybe what scientists convince gorbachev of was the fact that they were doing basic research and not building and accumulating biological weapons on a grand scale like they were chemical weapons. dnl there was a great deal of chemical weapons in the inventory but biological weapons program was very, very robust but hadn't yet reached that stage so i would agree with kind of the concept of that he was looking at it as an ace in the whole, in a symmetrical answer he could put on the table to bargain away but in his mind he felt he was sufficiently clean as far is presenting it as not an aberration of the weapons program but basic research. would you comment on that? >> i would have to disagree in a couple of ways. he knew that they were in violation, the human research program was illicit so why would he allow an allyssa program or
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not act on that. secondly the issue of how much they created an stockpile this an open question. i don't find the answer in katayev but they do find a lot of evidence that once the secret research program produced in new pathogen and sometimes you recall i said diabolical but sometimes these records to essentially use genetic engineering to unite to different pathogens in one, something that would be really awful to let loose on a population. there wasn't a second stage which we documented to prepare the pathogen for delivery in a weapon. karis solarization and microencapsulation with the duty of vladimir the dues effective to get them ready. what we have not seen is what was the third phase the actual weapons of the delivery mechanisms and that goes to your question, if we ever dared-- did learn that.
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the factory bill brand x had immobilization capacity to produce tons of van pac's, some people say up to 300 tons a year and i remind you that a teaspoon of anthrax spores contains millions so this was an incredible production capacity that would suggest to me that it was not simply laboratory and ali had to do was ask somebody why do we have this giant factory that was not research? >> going to that gentleman and then we will come up here and make their way back around the rooms of this gentleman up here. >> thank you. i am carl lungren. i assumed the dead hand in your title refers to the underground chambers that would allow the military to have a retaliatory strike against the hanna in case the united states had a first strike that decapitated the civilian leadership in the
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soviet union. antiwar nodding so i assume it is yes but they kept it all secret so that we didn't know they have this extra deterrent against the first strike, and it is similar to the cuban missile strike were they installed a nuclear missile and cuba, yet they didn't tell us about it, and maybe you can continue. >> you are right, the dead hand was a retaliatory system that the soviet leaders devised and a actually at one point thought about it completely automated retaliatory system and i think they got word that would be a little bit too frightening even for them so they developed a semi-automatic system which involve this deep underground bunker in the shape of the globe and several men with the checklist and under certain circumstances loss of communication with the national command authority seismic evidence of a first strike or nuclear strike stayed with launch small command rockets which would be used to launch
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all the weapons. i describe this in a chapter in the book but the key points dimension which we are all puzzled over including the man who worked on the system the describes it in the book is why did they keep it secret? because of that was intended as a deterrent it would only work as a deterrent if it was public and by keeping it secret they essentially suggest that they didn't see it as a deterrent, and i don't think that i or anyone has completely answer this question. one possibility is they were afraid that if they announced it could be decapitated. i don't know, it seems to me to be speculative. another possibility is that they weren't thinking of it as a deterrent, that they were simply thinking of what is some kind of reserve system in case of decapitation and it didn't have any doctoral import. mr.-- who discusses it in my chapter told me i think it was a huge mistake to keep in secret and he today would like to have more transparency about it but
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has been the late bill-- unable to convince anybody. >> we have dmitri wayne, this gentleman here and then we will go over there. >> my name is dmitri. why i was at this time there, and i have a question for you. it is many times-- is a private citizen. why do you don't ask him, separation which you have not answered. what is the reason? >> demitri i did ask orbiter of this question. i interviewed him twice for this book but his answer to me was i specifically asked him did he know of the secret organization that carried out the biological
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weapons research and he said you know there is a fine line between offense and defense of research in biology and he just dissembled and then he changed the subject. he did not want to answer it. >> wayne? >> wayne airy. this being washington of course we have to relate our topic to iran, so would you address to specific questions. one, what indications he may yet have that any of those cylinders were disks, in fact in the end up then i ran in second a more broader structural question which is during the 1990's the program was under détente and in my own state department in dealing with the russian leadership it was pretty clear that this was a state within a state and even-- had no idea and perhaps less control of what was going on. this was in the 1990's, not the
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1980's to what extent this year research indicates that part of the problem was a structural one of a state within a state of nuclear energy matters that in some respects conducted its own foreign policy? >> the first question, we know the iranians were on the hunt for fissile material in projects of fire which was carried out in 1995 in kazakhstan to bring the uranium back. they found a large supply of beryllium which is needed in a clear weapons and the krate address to tehran. we also know in that report there were repeated efforts to scrub the entire military industrial complex for technology for biological technology and for missile technology. i don't believe that, i don't have any evidence of this material going to random because iran is now trying to develop its own fuel cycle it makes you think maybe they didn't get that far but there is solid evidence
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which the report in the book that russian missile designers made repeated trips with the connivance of the state to help the iranians work on missile design. i would point out however iran seemed incapable of assimilating some of this expertise and they are still years behind where we thought they would be in the 1990's and missile design. they still have trouble with that. they also set up a special office in moscow to find this technology and to look elsewhere so it is a mixed story but it was a real serious issue and i think this sort of open bizarre nature of russia in the 1990's made it an easy target and so did iraq by the way. >> this gentleman right here. >> hello, my name is howard for good during the 1980's i spent full time organizing antinuclear grassroots efforts to stop the mx missile, of the cruise
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pershing, attended mass demonstrations, even gave a speaking tour of england, scotland on the subject and i think they are saying that the july 1982 or june 12, 1982 demonstration in central park is still the largest outdoor assembly of human beings in north america ever. did we have any impact on the event? >> i think that you did in a way that would surprise you. one of the things i urge you to do is get a copy of reagan's diaries and read them carefully because one of the things reagan didn't tell us at the time and didn't tell me i was a white house correspondent for "the washington post," i did not fully appreciate that he had become in his own mind it bidded the nuclear abolitionist. he was out in central park with you and my favorite anecdote with it came to occurred in 1986. gorbachev had just made it big speech in moscow in january of 1986 calling for the elimination
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of all nuclear weapons with the wonderful charge a time schedule and they reproduce this in the book. i found it in katayev's files. the speech was sent back to washington, translated for reagan and secretary shultz got in his car to raise over to the white house to give the president some guidance on what to think about it in when he got there reagan was already reading it and reagan looks up at him and says, george, why should we wait until the year 2000? >> i bought the book and read three-fourths of it and it is very informative than persuasive. let me ask you about reykjavic. there you portray gorbachev as the individual who is proposing a 50% reduction in soviet united states nuclear weapons within a ten year period and reagan,
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while he was interested, reagan seems at times really to be lost in those discussions. he is not as attentive, he is not responsive at times. do you think reagan was really sick at this point? >> no. i was a white house correspondent. i went to reykjavik and covered it from the press room which didn't tell me very much but re-examining the record i think it is quite interesting. gorbachev prepared very carefully. other people in the soviet establishment gave gorbachev rather serious guidelines for the summit. gorbachev did not follow them. he was a steamroller coming of locomotive. he knew what he wanted. he created a trap in the deal was he was going to propose to reagan the resistable idea of deep reductions in offensive weapons in order to bottle up bastillo inez reagan refused he was going to shout to the whole world and that was his plan
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going in. it was quite dramatic get any rate. reagan did not prepare that wellen didn't have a plan and in fact he had a tug of war inside his own circle and one of the reasons for his confusion at reykjavic with some of the paragraphs that his advisors put on the table did not agree with each other. when paragrapher talk about ballistic missiles and another would talk about strategic weapons in the same document and that is one of the reasons for the great confusion. reagan had a war inside his own group but he did catch the romance of what gorbachev was offering him and that is why it was such a dramatic moment. i ask the question to you today if reagan had known what gorbachev was thinking that there in 1985 when the huge sdi plan was put on his desk if reagan had known how far and fast gorbachev wanted to go maybe they would have actually had a phil-mag dealed reykjavic. >> the final two questions, this gentleman here and then the back row. right here.
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>> dave rogers, independents scholar. what became of this huge biological weapons structure and program and how did it come to what degree is it still around or has it been broken up or such? >> part of it in kazakhstan which included the anthrax factory has been bulldozed. repaed kazakhstan and destroyed it. the parts run the soviet union, especially in central asia and some of the ukraine have these been revealed and secured. part civin russia however certainly boba lisk for a while was open to international cooperation. i actually went there in 2005 and the virus laboratory, both those places had open for some international cooperation however parts of russia are closed down. their three military laboratories in russia which of never been opened and we don't
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know what remains and they shouldn't and there are other things such as the interplayed system in russia which was used to harvest pathogens. it is never been opened that we have seen efforts in tajik stana and other former republics that was part of the biological weapons effort. there is more work to be done. >> in the back. >> in your description of the dead hand system you mentioned that it involves the outside of moscow and that was globe shaped and people sat in it with a checklist and things like that and they could use command rockets to transmit information structures to the rest of the nuclear force. can you talk more about the technical details to pick up in your research about the system and what your sources were. were they the katayev papers, something else? >> the work on the system in the
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last year, he was the one who ticket through final testing in 1984. that was his accomplishment in 1985. for the more i verify through other sources that the soviet union did not build a fully automatic one. it is difficult to put a name or a project on that one because it is only return-- referred to stapley but i have three sources that was actually conceived, and the technical details which i think i described somewhat carefully in the book because i wanted it to be accessible, that the soviet leaders at the time feared decapitation and the fact that their own leadership was aging. i think that if both imagined it would be difficult if they pershing missiles were fired at them assuming you have the rage, of the imagine getting brezhnev out of his kremlin office and into a bunker or a safe place and what would they do.
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i have had some discussions with people about whether the fear was infirmity or decapitation but either way parameter was billed as a reserve so a leader like brezhnev given ennobler that they were facing nuclear attack could simply flip a switch and turn on the system, pre-delegate to the people in the bunker and therefore not have to make himself and that to some people including the people who worked on it made a save the cash which was the least he didn't have your alien leaders subject to decapitation and having to make a decision in five minutes. and here the danger was always big bill. you had to design it faster and i describe the evolution of soviet command-and-control that they built a system that was so quick because of the tensions and the hair trigger nature of the times, so i think in their minds, it was not dangerous but by not making it public by not
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essentially making a deterrent to could also argue those guys in the bunker, are they the last human firewall against armageddon? are they drilled and trained that if everything on the checklist is met they should fire the command rockets for which there is no retreat or are they human beings? are they going to be sitting there realize that moscow has been destroyed? they get the sense there is a nuclear war on the surface, what are they going to do? there you have the nub of the whole history of the nuclear age, and that is the question of human reaction in a crisis. >> david, thank you very much. the book is available outside and i'm sure you will sign them. [applause] >> david hoffman is a contributing editor at "the washington post" where he was formerly a white house correspondent and pierogi. he is the author
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oligar new russia. for more information visit the dead handbooks.com.
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>> we are here at west virginia university speaking with professor daniel schapiro about his book, is the welfare state justified? so, let's start at the end of
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the well. is the well there's they justified? >> probably not, but i stood explain what i mean by that. first, what i mean by the welfare state. by the welfare state that mean programs like the national health insurance, social security or sometimes called social insurance programs and government welfare and when i say probably not what they do in the book which is kind of interesting i thank is, look at the values and principles of people who defend the welfare state. i take their values, the reasons they give, so i am in philosophy so contemporary political philosophy there are various positions that supported. to skip technical turns i will say fairness are protecting the poor, providing a sense of community and i argued that given their values if you compare those institutions with feasible, a more market-based alternative, the people supporting the welfares the jeb actually support the alternatives.
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they actually come out looking either better or least as good given their own values. >> so what are the central principles our values that drive the creation of the welfare programs? >> well, one i will talk about perhaps the most common one is the notion of fairness. i think it u.s. people why do we need these programs they probably say because they are fair. if we let people try to have their health insurance on their own or have a pension plans, retirement on their own, or left to fend for themselves at the airport is not going to be fair to them so i think those of the central values. do you want me to talk about one of my arguments here? >> sure. >> scinto cure simmon news let's talk more about this. i wrote this, this came out in 2007 by cambridge university press so it is not completely current about what is going on but basically if you look at systems of national health insurance which exist in almost
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all the effluent-- we don't have one. we have a quasisystem. we have medicare and medicaid. half of medicare expenditures, half of all health care expenditures. if you look to those programs basically to put it simply the involve massive subsidization of everybody. the government tries to subsidize everybody in keep the price below what they would pay in the market. what happens is, it is sort of elementary. if you subsidize something you get more of it. went to get more of it you get big explosive demands and eventually the government has to put a cap on that and then you get government rationing. when that happens to get lines and who is going to go to the top of the line? i will tell you who is going to get to the top of the line. we know this. people like me. people have connections, people who are knowledgeable, people who can gain the system. who is going to go to the bottom of the line? poor was virginian so if you want to be there this is not a
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fair system. now, to do this we will need to talk about what a feasible alternative, what it will market-based insurance will look like for goody will meet to talk about that? >> has come up please. >> it is not fair to just look at once as the men look at it and say it is always a problem, so by a real market health insurance and i don't mean the united states. i mean the system were not the government is in control and not the insurance companies are controlled do you are in control the consumers so imagine a system and we have the little bit of that, something goldhill savings accounts. you have an account tax free and you can use it to spend for predictable routine expenses. we limit insurance to catastrophes which is really what insurance should be. think about car insurance. dissipate for oil and libs? you know the answer, if it did it would be catastrophically expensive. so if we have a system like this, everybody can be in control of their own health care dollars and it seems to be much
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fairer and we limit catastrophes. you don't have this wrestling problem because in my system you would have tax incentives so almost everybody would have been held savings account. you would leave the hard cases some subsidies and then you don't have rationing for the degette national health insurance. you don't get the lines come you don't get poor people being shunted to the bottom of the line so if you want to really be fair have a system in which people are in control of their own health bottlers-- dollars emmy don't give this rationing which we see in a lot of national health care systems. >> in your opinion can welfare programs in general achieve social justice? >> well, it's sort of the pens, pardon biffle gossiper's answer, what he mean by social justice? if you mean something like fairness, a sense of community, protecting the port, i think if you compare them particularly in the social insurance programs,
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they do a worse job than these alternatives. on welfare, government welfare think it is more of a tossup but if you just want to ask my opinion and not the arguments i would say they do a poor job given again the values of people that defend them. >> who would you like to read this book? who will benefit the most from it? >> it is dedicated come i don't mean this as a joke, it is dedicated to the supporters of the welfare system. i didn't want to insert my own views and it. i wanted to say look i'm going to take care of you seriously and i want to convince to, rather than i want to convince you that the institutions you are supporting support alternatives. if you want back in say a little bit what motivated this book too. would you like me to talk about that? as a philosopher of seen these debates bog down like some people say liberty is most important some people say fairness is most important some people say community is most
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important and then they battle about principles. i will tell you the truth. no winds my interchange. instead of doing that one and say we start from different starting points but maybe if we start from different starting points we can converge on the same kind of institution so i dries distinction between the principles in the institutions and i tried to say maybe despite all the disagreements like the issues of hope, despite being grietz man's we can converge on similar results about what institutions we should have but that is ultimately what this is about, what kind of society we want and what kind of socialists editions do we want? that is why would like to read the book. it is meant seriously as a dedication. i dedicated to a lot of friends to disagree with me. i say look, my own view is i'm much more of the liberty guy coming libertarian but i keep libertarianism out of the book and i say even if you are an egalitarian you shouldn't be supporting the social insurance
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programs. we should be supporting on your own principles. they do it worst jack. >> what would your central message bee to all of those egalitarian? >> the central message would be reconsider your position. that is to say maybe you are supporting institutions that actually do a worse job in promoting the values you want to promote when you compare to >> we have been speaking with professor daniel schapiro at west virginian diversity of his book, as the welfare state justified? thank you. >> eglin lack talks about an agreement made between hill this government and the zionist leaders in 1933. the agreement called for the transfer of 55,000 and $100 million to palestine in exchange for calling off a planned economic boycott o nazi germany by jewish organizations. barnes & noble booksellers and rockville maryland postal hour-long event.
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>> we are here with that one black, and most people know you for some of the best-selling books that mitchell is just referred to. war against the week, internal combustion banking on bad debt. all of these were written in the 21st century. you have i understand somewhere arounds 69 different editions published in about 40 languages in 61 countries. the question that we are focusing on today was actually your first book callhe transfer agreement, the dramatic story of the pact between the third reich and jewish palestine. this book was published in 1984 sodas than 25 years ago and at the time it came out i remember there was a tremendous amount of media attention and also it was a very controversial book. it was one that there was a tremendous amount of discussion and so that is what brings us here today. let's go first to that issue.
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what was said about the publication of this book and the thesis that you were putting forth, what was it that garnered so much attention and so much controversy? >> the story is the transfer agreement, the story of the pact between the zionists and the nazis that was launched in the first weeks of the third reich in 1933. it began in the spring of 1933 and was consummated in august of 1933. most people don't know that when hitler came to power, the jews actually fought back and they fought back hard. they fought back immediately. hitler came to power on january 30, 1933, the first concentration camp was actually opened up a series of them between march 8 and march 10th 1933. the anti-jewish laws followed shortly
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